Upper Marshyangdi ‘A’ resumes generation

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    Nov 6, 2016- Upper Marshyangdi ‘A’ Hydropower Project has resumed power generation after remaining shut for a month for maintenance.

    The project, which had started commercial operation from September-end, had to halt electricity generation following leakage of water in the tunnel.

    Energy Minister Janardan Sharma had announced the commencement of commercial operation at a special programme organised in Kathmandu, while Lawmaker Bhisma Nath Adhikari had inaugurated the plant amid a ceremony at the project site in Bhulbhule, Lamjung.

    However, the generation did not last even a week after technical difficulties surfaced.

    Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), which buys the electricity generated by the project, had directed the project to complete the maintenance and start power supply to the grid by mid-October.

    However, the maintenance work completed only on Thursday and the project went online on Friday, according to a project official. “25MW electricity has been connected to the national transmission grid,” said Karna Adhikari, the project’s public relations officer.

    A joint-venture of China’s Sino Hydro and Sagarmatha Power Company, the run-of-the-river project was started in 2012. Sino Hydro holds a 90 percent stake in the project, while Sagarmatha Power Company owns the rest.

    Upper Marshyangdi ‘A’ is the first hydropower project built with foreign direct investment. According to project officials, the total cost of the project stands at Rs16 billion. The construction of the project was largely affected by last year’s earthquakes and border blockade.

    The 50MW project has two turbines, each generating 25MW of electricity. The powerhouse is located at Bhulbhule-3 and a 6.5-km-long tunnel has been constructed to deliver water to the powerhouse from the dam site located at Bhulbhule-5.

    NEA is yet to construct transmission line to evacuate all the electricity generated by the project. After the NEA failed to build the power line, the project itself erected a single circuit transmission line to evacuate power. However, it lacks the capacity to transmit all the power generated by the plant.

    Due to the absence transmission line, only 25MW of the power generated can be fed into the national grid. The project has been complaining about NEA’s tardiness in building transmission line.

    “Due to the NEA’s incompetence, only half of the total power generated is connected to the national grid,” said the project official.

    Electricity produced by the second turbine will be added to the national grid after three months, according to the project. When the plant goes into full production, it will generate 317 million units of electricity annually.

    Source: The Kathmandu Post